Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid (Collidescope Productions) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

photo of benaldo yeung and loretta yu

There is something immensely satisfying about seeing a play like Interrogation: Lives and Trials of the Kamloops Kid (playing at the Factory Theatre Mainspace as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival) on Canada Day. With a story that engages important issues like citizenship, identity, colonialism and war, Interrogation is an ambitious, thoughtful production that just needs a little more polishing.

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there/GONE (Discord and Din Theatre) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

My Toronto Fringe Festival experience began this year in a cozy vintage store in Kensington Market called Flashback Vintage. The air is thick with that comforting, musty scent of well-used objects kept in storage. I, and my fellow audience members, stroll around the shop, familiarizing ourselves with the merchandise and hunting for the object we were told would be ours for the duration of Discord and Din Theatre’s site-specific show there/GONE. Continue reading there/GONE (Discord and Din Theatre) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Exposure (Undershaft and Lazarus) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Laurel Paetz, Craig Walker, Christopher Blackwell in "Exposure"Undershaft and LazarusExposure, currently playing at the Robert Gill Theatre as part of Toronto Fringe, bills itself as the story of the first selfie. That’s not strictly true, though it is a cute log-line. Rather, it’s the story of the first photograph ever successfully taken of a human being, back in 1838 when photography was in its infancy. If you’ve seen the picture in question, then I’d describe the show as a kind of behind-the-scenes fantasy of who that figure might be, and how he might be connected to Louis Daguerre, the inventor of the Daguerrotype process of photography. Really, it’s a great concept.

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Lust & Marriage (Dance Naked Productions) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Eleanor O'Brien by Lloyd Lemmerman

I laughed. I cried. There were sex jokes galore, and tales of blowjobs gone horribly, horribly wrong. Mostly I watched one woman’s heartfelt story of finding love, and herself – with the help of a children’s book and potent hallucinogens – in Dance Naked Productions’ performance of Lust & Marriage, part of Toronto Fringe Festival’s 2015 lineup. Continue reading Lust & Marriage (Dance Naked Productions) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

HEADLESS/The Play (Marbles Theatre) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

HEADLESS/The Play by Marbles Theatre is currently playing at the Tarragon Theatre Mainspace for this year’s Fringe Festival. The title is a bit misleading, since the show is less of a grim murder mystery and more of a comedy. The show (directed by Bruce Hunter and written by Tommy Jeff McAteer) is based on a real 2014 George Brown playwrighting class, and centres around the meta-commentary of the nature of writing, acting and theatre.
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Mandelshtam (Amphitheatre) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

In Amphitheatre’s Mandelshtam, presented as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, a Russian poet (Osip Mandelshtam) criticizes Stalin and winds up in the Lubyanka. The tireless efforts of friends and family are able to secure a sort of pardon, but leave him with a difficult question: can he bring himself to pen a syrupy “Ode to Stalin” and thus save his skin at the expense of his ideals?

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People Suck (Nutmeg Creations) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Connor Thompson, Ashley Comeau, Allison Price, Megan Phillips, Arthur WrightWhat annoys you the most about people? When they bail on plans? Or text and drive? Whatever it is, it’s probably featured as a musical number in People Suck, the Nutmeg Creations’ hilarious musical playing at the Toronto Fringe FestivalPeople Suck doesn’t have a plot or storyline. It’s a collection of songs that revolve around one theme: all the ways in which people are the worst.

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Twelfe Night, Or what you will (Ale House Theatre Co.) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of Twelfe Night, Or what you will
The Ale House Theatre Co. production of Twelfe Night currently playing as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival is an admirable production of Shakespeare’s greatest comedy. The production’s gorgeous costumes and beautiful singing in the 16th century style set it apart from other recent Toronto productions.

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Duotang Chesterfield’s Mystery Theatre LIVE (Duotang Chesterfield’s Mystery Theatre) 2015 Toronto Fringe Review

Duotang

Duotang Chesterfield’s Mystery Theatre LIVE (playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival) is built around a podcast by the same name, and that’s the crux of the problem. Billed as a sort of backstage comedy set in the world of old-timey radio serials, the scripts are interesting and the actors handle them well, but — at the risk of sounding entirely too blunt — why is this on a stage?

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